A FORESTRY worker lost their life after being crushed while unloading tree trunks from a forwarder trailer. 

The individual died following an incident in Heathfield, East Sussex, on April 12. 

Few details have been released on the fatality and an investigation is ongoing to establish the full facts, but it is understood the victim was self employed. 

Officials at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have confirmed the death in a notification, which has been released to inform operators about loading and unloading trailers. 

The bulletin read: "Loading and unloading forwarder trailers can kill or seriously injure people at work or passers-by if not done safely. 

"Ensure that:

  • People are kept out of the work area when loading and unloading timber.
  • Loading and unloading operations are carried out by trained and competent persons.
  • Machinery and equipment is suitable for the task and is well-maintained.
  • Any maintenance is carried out safely in accordance with the manufacturer’s handbook. Engine off, all power isolated and any stored energy is released.
  • Ensure that the timber is safely stacked on the trailer and properly secured. The load restraint system must be sufficient for the material carried and take account of product length, product weight etc. Do not load above the headboard or above stanchions and pins.
  • People understand the increased risks of operating in a remote site environment and know what to do in the event of emergency." 

A FISA statement added: "Sharing of these notifications helps to raise awareness of broad themes around risk management and promote safety messages."

The full notification can be read on FISA's website